Memory enhancers – or nootropics – have become increasingly popular over the last few years. These synthetic substances are carefully created to improve cognitive function in healthy individuals. Nootropics are not medicine – they aren’t meant to cure – but are created to boost cognition in otherwise healthy individuals.
Every person has a unique brain chemistry, while each nootropic has a different profile and can help to boost different areas of the brain. Nootropics is a term coined relatively recently by the Romanian chemist Corneliu Giurgea to describe compounds that “turn the mind”, hence nootropics.
According to Corneliu, any substance that is called a nootropics must do these 5 things:
- Enhance memory and learning ability
- Help the brain function under disruptive conditions
- Protect the brain from long term damage
- Improve neural firing mechanisms
- And lack sedative effects – aka it doesn’t make you tired.
The Internet is a wild and unpredictable place though, so not everything called a nootropic online fits this criteria, but it is a good starting point.
The Benefits of Memory and Brain Enhancers
Generally, a nootropic gives the user greater control over their neurochemistry, leading to enhanced cognition on many different fronts.
Nootropics confer a wide range of benefits on the user, including enhanced productivity and focus, boost in ability to read social situations and ques, mixed into pre-workout mixes to give the user a laser like focus on the muscle they are using, as well as improving your mental state.
Nootropics will not give you incredible abilities like Bradley Cooper in Limitless, but they will increase the number of “on” days you have.
Imagine yourself on a great day, when everything seems to be lining up and you’re full of energy. Nootropics can be seen as helping you feel that way more often.
These drugs certainly have many pros, but they are powerful and it is important that you take care when taking them. Nootropics will not cause any serious side effects, but some users have reported headaches.
It is possible to build a tolerance to most nootropics as well, and dependency is possible too, similar to caffeine and alcohol.
You can use some simple techniques and supplements to reduce or completely remove all of these side effects.
Nootropics dosage can be a tricky thing, and improper dosage probably causes most of the side effects you may have heard about regarding nootropics. Many new nootropics users falsely believe that the more they take, the stronger result they will have. In practice, higher doses often have too many side effects to justify any additional effects you may gain.
Nootropics also do not stay active in your body for very long periods of time. You must be cautious with how much you are taking throughout the day though, as it can lead to two main types of side effects.
Over time some users build up a tolerance to nootropics, so they have to take more and more to obtain the same effect. If you are noticing that you need a much larger dose in order to achieve the desired efeect, you may want to take a break from the nootropic in order to let you mind “reset”.
If you constantly take too much of the drug, you are liable to become dependent on it to an extent as well. This dependence is similar in effect to alcohol and caffeine, where your body becomes used to you using it.
If you quit the nootropic without tapering off, it could lead to some withdrawal type symptoms. It is advised to slowly taper down the dose instead of stopping cold turkey.
One way to combat these possible side effects is by cycling, or changing up the nootropic you take periodically. For example, you might take one nootropic for 2 weeks, than switch to another nootropic for the next 2 weeks.
You can repeat this indefinitely, creating a simple cycle that is very effective in reducing the appearance of side effects.
Choline is an essential nutrient, meaning that is necessary for proper body functioning but that you must obtain it mainly from your diet. Choline works to keep your body’s cells functioning properly, prevents homocysteine from building up in your blood and works to reduce chronic inflammation in the body.
Research has also shown that choline boosts the brain activity of fetuses in the womb, meaning that is likely to have the same effect in adults.
Taking choline can also help to reduce or eliminate any side effects felt from nootropics. Headaches are the most commonly cited side effect, and choline will help to reduce those quite a bit.
So if you are planning on taking any nootropics, it is highly recommended you take a choline supplement or increase the amount of choline containing foods in your diet.
Eggs and meat are the two best sources of choline, so if you’re a vegan or vegetarian it is a good idea to consider a choline supplement.
The pros of nootropics are pretty incredible. These include increased cognitive functioning, improved focus and more balanced moods. There are potential side effects, but these can be mitigated by taking the right dosage, cycling and supplementing with choline.
If this article has you interested in nootropics, you can find out more information on my favorite nootropic stack and learn more at this page here!
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Hey! My name is Stephen and I’m the owner of Ultimate Core Health. Since we started, we’ve grown into a trusted resource for unbiased, science-based articles and reviews on fitness, nutrition and supplements. Check me out on social media, feel free to add me if you want to talk health!